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Ready, set...shop!

The traditional start of the Christmas shopping season is no longer confined to Black Friday

It gets earlier every year. I’m fairly certain that in a year or two we’ll just skip dinner all together and gather for shopping. Somewhere, Sam Walton would be smiling.

This year, the traditional Black Friday is really more of a late Thursday ritual. Many major centers of commerce are opening around 8, 9 or even 10 p.m. Thursday. In my opinion, it's ridiculous that they are cutting into a family holiday! But then, I’m not much of a shopper any of the other 364 days, either.

This year, we introducing a new tradition in Small Business Saturday, asking Americans to consider the economy around them and support small, family-owned and operated businesses instead of large box stores. Companies like American Express have incentivized their cardholders to support small business by offering cash-back for such purchases.

On Monday, those like me who do not care to hoof it around a mall are welcome to partake in Cyber Monday, or the online version of Black Friday. Instead of sleeping on sidewalks and tromping through stores all day long on zero sleep, you can wake up, stay in your fluffy jammies and click away.

So this year, how will you kick off the holiday shopping season? Tell me in the poll at the bottom of this article.

If I’ve forgotten methods you prefer, add them in the comments below. I am anxious to see how you all feel about it. Now, enjoy that turkey sandwich with a side of leftover stuffing. That's the very best part of this holiday, anyhow!  

tedtaylor November 25, 2011 at 01:25 PM
Actually the commercialization of Christmas saddens me. Thanksgiving has just become a stop along the way, now, for Christmas sales hype. In the not so distant past the holiday meant so much more - school pageants about the Pilgrims and the Indians, family gatherings, the turkey day football game, the parade, now not so much. Of course the politically correct find fault with kids dressing as Pilgrims (a religion, after all) and Indians (now they are Native Americans or, even more corny, First Citizens). And the news blankets us with one nut case after another pitching tents in front of stores for days in advance of Black Friday. I'm among those who lament the passing of our traditional Thanksgiving Day and giving in to the lure of the almighty buck. Why must we rush Christmas? And if one more person wishes me a "Happy Holiday" I'm going to scream. July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day are holidays, Christmas and Thanksgiving are more than "holidays" - so whenever a PC'er wishes me a Happy Holiday I respond with Happy Thanksgiving or Merry Christmas. And if they don't like it, well that's just too bad.
Elayne Aion November 25, 2011 at 02:31 PM
I greatly appreciate the recent attention to small businesses and American Express has done a lot to promote shopping "small" but as a small business owner who doesn't accept American Express because the fees are too high (businesses pay those great cash back rewards), I would like to mention that small businesses are the backbone of our community. Not just on "Small Business Saturday" but every day. Money spent locally stays local, strengthens your community and reminds us we're all in this together. Glenside residents are fiercely proud of and loyal to their community, and therefore local businesses, and make it a point to shop "small" whenever they can. Small Business Saturday is great but we're here year round so when you think about gifts for your loved ones (or yourself!) consider your community businesses-gift certificates to local hairdressers, auto mechanics, restaurants, nail salons, massage therapists and of course gift shops all make great and thoughtful gifts both for your loved ones and for your neighborhoods. Elayne Aion The Dovetail Artisans
tedtaylor November 25, 2011 at 02:43 PM
Couldn't agree more. Small businesses are the backbone of America. I support them every chance I get - all year long!

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